[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalence of central nervous system (CNS) neurologic dysfunction associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection continues to increase, despite the use of antiretroviral therapy. Previous work has focused on the deleterious effects of HIV on mature neurons and on development of neuroprotective strategies, which have consistently failed to show a meaningful clinical benefit. It is now well established that new neurons are continuously generated in discrete regions in the adult mammalian brain, and accumulating evidence supports important roles for these neurons in specific cognitive functions. In a transgenic mouse model of HIV neurologic disease with glial expression of the HIV envelope protein gp120, we demonstrate a significant reduction in proliferation of hippocampal neural progenitors in the dentate gyrus of adult animals, resulting in a dramatic decrease in the number of newborn neurons in the adult brain. We identify amplifying neural progenitor cells (ANPs) as the first class of progenitors affected by gp120, and we also demonstrate that newly generated neurons exhibit aberrant dendritic development. Furthermore, voluntary exercise and treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor increase the ANP population and rescue the observed deficits in gp120 transgenic mice. Thus, during HIV infection, the envelope protein gp120 may potently inhibit adult hippocampal neurogenesis, and neurorestorative approaches may be effective in ameliorating these effects. Our study has significant implications for the development of novel therapeutic approaches for HIV-infected individuals with neurologic dysfunction and may be applicable to other neurodegenerative diseases in which hippocampal neurogenesis is impaired.
Neurobiology of Disease 03/2011; 41(3):678-87. · 5.62 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are zinc-dependent enzymes that play a role in the inflammatory response. These enzymes have been well studied in the context of cancer biology and inflammation. Recent studies, however, suggest that these enzymes also play roles in brain development and neurodegenerative disease. Select MMPs can target proteins critical to synaptic structure and neuronal survival, including integrins and cadherins. Here, we show that one member of the MMP family, MMP-7, which may be released from cells, including microglia, can target a protein critical to synaptic function. Through analysis of extracts from murine cortical slice preparations, we show that MMP-7 cleaves the NR1 subunit of the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor to generate an N-terminal fragment of approximately 65 kDa. Moreover, studies with recombinant protein show that MMP-7-mediated cleavage of NR1 occurs at amino acid 517, which is extracellular and just distal to the first transmembrane domain. Data suggest that NR2A, which shares sequence homology with NR1, is also cleaved following treatment of slices with MMP-7, while select AMPA receptor subunits are not. Consistent with a potential effect of MMP-7 on ligand binding, additional experiments demonstrate that NMDA-mediated calcium flux is significantly diminished by MMP-7 pretreatment of cultures. In addition, the AMPA/NMDA ratio is increased by MMP-7 pretreatment. These data suggest that synaptic function may be altered in neurological conditions associated with increased levels of MMP-7.
The FASEB Journal 11/2008; 22(11):3757-67. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Development of neuroprotective strategies for peripheral neuropathies requires high-throughput drug screening assays with appropriate cell types. Currently, immortalized dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neuronal cell lines that maintain nociceptive sensory neuronal properties are not available. We generated immortalized DRG neuronal lines from embryonic day 14.5 rats. Here, we show that one of the immortalized DRG neuronal lines, 50B11, has the properties of a nociceptive neuron. When differentiated in the presence of forskolin, these cells extend long neurites, express neuronal markers, and generate action potentials. They express receptors and markers of small-diameter sensory neurons and upregulate appropriate receptor populations when grown in the presence of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor or nerve growth factor. Furthermore, they express capsaicin receptor transient receptor potential vanilloid family-1 (TRPV-1) and respond to capsaicin with increases in intracellular calcium. In a 96-well plate format, these neurons show a decline in ATP levels when exposed to dideoxycytosine (ddC) in a proper time- and dose-dependent manner. This ddC-induced reduction in ATP levels correlates with axonal degeneration. The immortalized DRG neuronal cell line 50B11 can be used for high-throughput drug screening for neuroprotective agents for axonal degeneration and antinociceptive drugs that block TRPV-1.
Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System 07/2007; 12(2):121-30. · 2.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection continues to rise in drug-abusing populations and causes a dementing illness in a subset of individuals. Factors contributing to the development of dementia in this population remain unknown. We found that HIV-infected individuals with the E4 allele of Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) or history of intravenous drug abuse had increased oxidative stress in the CNS. In vitro studies showed that HIV proteins, gp120 and Tat, Tat + morphine but not tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), caused increased neurotoxicity in human neuronal cultures with ApoE4 allele. Microarray analysis showed a differential alteration of transcripts involved in energy metabolism in cultures of ApoE3 and 4 neurons upon treatment with Tat + morphine. This was confirmed using assays of mitochondrial function and exposure of the neurons to Tat + morphine. Using this in vitro model, we screened a number of novel antioxidants and found that only L-deprenyl and diosgenin protected against the neurotoxicity of Tat + morphine. Furthermore, Tat-induced oxidative stress impaired morphine metabolism which could also be prevented by diosgenin. In conclusion, opiate abusers with HIV infection and the ApoE4 allele may be at increased risk of developing dementia. L-deprenyl and a plant estrogen, diosgenin, may have therapeutic potential in this population.
Neurobiology of Disease 08/2006; 23(1):109-19. · 5.62 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuroinflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) are characterized by focal regions of demyelination and axonal loss associated with infiltrating T cells. However, the role of activated T cells in causing neuronal injury remains unclear. CD4 and CD8 T cells were isolated from normal donors and polyclonally activated using plate-bound anti-CD3 and soluble anti-CD28. The conditioned T cell supernatants caused toxicity to cultured human fetal neurons, which could be blocked by immunodepleting the supernatants of granzyme B (GrB). Recombinant GrB also caused toxicity in neurons by caspase-dependent pathways but no toxicity was seen in astrocytes. The neurotoxicity was independent of perforin and could not be blocked by mannose-6-phosphate. However, GrB-induced neurotoxicity was sensitive to pertussis toxin, implicating the stimulation of Gialpha protein-coupled receptors. GrB caused a decrease in cAMP levels but only modest increases in intracellular calcium. The effect on intracellular calcium could be markedly potentiated by stromal-derived factor 1alpha. GrB-induced neurotoxicity could also be blocked by vitamin E and a neuroimmunophilin ligand. In conclusion, GrB may be an important mediator of neuronal injury in T cell-mediated neuroinflammatory disorders.
The FASEB Journal 07/2006; 20(8):1209-11. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the rapidly increasing incidence of HIV infection worldwide and the increasing prevalence of HIVassociated cognitive impairment, even in patients adequately treated with antiretroviral therapy, currently no effective treatment exists for HIV dementia. A broad range of studies using either brain or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tissues from well-characterized patients with HIV dementia, animal models, and in vitro studies from several laboratories using HIV-infected cells or HIV proteins provide overwhelming evidence for oxidative stress in mediating neuronal injury in this patient population. These studies also suggest that patients with apolipoprotein E (ApoE) 4 allele are more susceptible to such oxidative damage. In this review, we provide a critical analysis of these studies, including the few clinical trials that have used antioxidants to treat HIV dementia. We also discuss several novel agents with potent antioxidative properties and provide a rationale for combination antioxidant and neuroprotective therapy.
Antioxidants and Redox Signaling 01/2006; 8(11-12):2089-100. · 7.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress leads to the production of reactive oxygen species that can attack lipid membranes resulting in cellular dysfunction and death. Cellular redox state is closely linked to ceramide, sphingomyelin, and 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) levels. We describe data showing increased levels of these oxidative stress markers in HIV encephalitis. In addition, actively progressing HIV dementia is associated with increases in HNE and ceramide, while inactive HIV dementia is associated with increases in sphingomyelin. These markers may be useful for distinguishing between different clinical phenotypes of HIV dementia.
Journal of Neuroimmunology 01/2005; 157(1-2):176-84. · 3.03 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies suggest that the inducible isoform of cyclooxygenase, COX-2, promotes motor neuron loss in rodent models of ALS. We investigated the effects of PGE2, a principal downstream prostaglandin product of COX-2 activity, on motor neuron survival in an organotypic culture model of ALS. We find that PGE2 paradoxically protects motor neurons at physiological concentrations in this model. PGE2 exerts its downstream effects by signaling through a class of four distinct G-protein-coupled E-prostanoid receptors (EP1-EP4) that have divergent effects on cAMP. EP2 and EP3 are dominantly expressed in ventral spinal cord in neurons and astrocytes, and activation of these receptor subtypes individually or in combination also rescued motor neurons. The EP2 receptor is positively coupled to cAMP, and its neuroprotection was mimicked by application of forskolin and blocked by inhibition of PKA, suggesting that its protective effect is mediated by downstream effects of cAMP. Conversely, the EP3 receptor is negatively coupled to cAMP, and its neuroprotective effect was blocked by pertussis toxin, suggesting that its protective effect is dependent on Gi-coupled heterotrimeric signaling. Taken together, these data demonstrate an unexpected neuroprotective effect mediated by PGE2, in which activation of its EP2 and EP3 receptors protected motor neurons from chronic glutamate toxicity.
Annals of Neurology 09/2004; 56(2):240-8. · 11.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies have demonstrated that matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are cytotoxic. The responsible mechanisms, however, are not well understood. MMPs may promote cytotoxicity through their ability to disrupt or degrade matrix proteins that support cell survival, and MMPs may also cleave substrates to generate molecules that stimulate cell death. In addition, MMPs may themselves act on cell surface receptors that affect cell survival. Among such receptors is the alpha(2)beta(1) integrin, a complex that has previously been linked to leukocyte death. In the present study we show that human neurons express alpha(2)beta(1) and that pro-MMP-1 interacts with this integrin complex. We also show that stimulation of neuronal cultures with MMP-1 is associated with a rapid reduction in the phosphorylation of Akt, a kinase that can influence caspase activity and cell survival. Moreover, MMP-1-associated dephosphorylation of Akt is inhibited by a blocking antibody to the alpha(2) integrin, but not by batimastat, an inhibitor of MMP-1 enzymatic activity. Such dephosphorylation is also stimulated by a catalytic mutant of pro-MMP-1. Additional studies show that MMP-1 causes neuronal death, which is significantly diminished by both a general caspase inhibitor and anti-alpha(2) but not by batimastat. Together, these results suggest that MMP-1 can stimulate dephosphorylation of Akt and neuronal death through a non-proteolytic mechanism that involves changes in integrin signaling.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2004; 279(9):8056-62. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cyclooxygenases COX-1 and COX-2 catalyze the first committed step of prostaglandin synthesis from arachidonic acid. Previous studies in rodent stroke models have shown that the inducible COX-2 isoform promotes neuronal injury, and the administration of COX-2 inhibitors reduces infarct volume. We investigated the function of PGE2, a principal prostaglandin product of COX-2 enzymatic activity, in neuronal survival in cerebral ischemia. PGE2 exerts its downstream effects by signaling through a class of four distinct G-protein-coupled EP receptors (for E-prostanoid: EP1, EP2, EP3, and EP4) that have divergent effects on cAMP and phosphoinositol turnover and different anatomical distributions in brain. The EP2 receptor subtype is abundantly expressed in cerebral cortex, striatum, and hippocampus, and is positively coupled to cAMP production. In vitro studies of dispersed neurons and organotypic hippocampal cultures demonstrated that activation of the EP2 receptor was neuroprotective in paradigms of NMDA toxicity and oxygen glucose deprivation. Pharmacologic blockade of EP2 signaling by inhibition of protein kinase A activation reversed this protective effect, suggesting that EP2-mediated neuroprotection is dependent on cAMP signaling. In the middle cerebral artery occlusion-reperfusion model of transient forebrain ischemia, genetic deletion of the EP2 receptor significantly increased cerebral infarction in cerebral cortex and subcortical structures. These studies indicate that activation of the PGE2 EP2 receptor can protect against excitotoxic and anoxic injury in a cAMP-dependent manner. Taken together, these data suggest a novel mechanism of neuroprotection mediated by a dominant PGE2 receptor subtype in brain that may provide a target for therapeutic intervention.
Journal of Neuroscience 02/2004; 24(1):257-68. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article reviews the changing epidemiology of HIV-associated dementia, current concepts of the different patterns of dementia under the influence of highly active antiretroviral therapy, and reviews therapeutic aspects.
Journal of NeuroVirology 05/2003; 9(2):205-21. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in presenilin-1 (PS1) can cause early onset familial Alzheimer's disease (AD). Studies of cultured cells and mice expressing mutant PS1 suggest that PS1 mutations may promote neuronal dysfunction and degeneration by altering cellular calcium homeostasis. On the other hand, it has been suggested that age-related damage to DNA in neurons may be an important early event in the pathogenesis of AD. We now report that PC12 cells and primary hippocampal neurons expressing mutant PS1 exhibit increased sensitivity to death induced by DNA damage. The hypersensitivity to DNA damage is correlated with increased intracellular Ca(2+) levels, induction of p53, upregulation of the Ca(2+)-dependent protease m-calpain, and mitochondrial membrane depolarization. Moreover, activation of caspase-12, an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated caspase, is greatly increased in cells expressing mutant PS1. DNA damage-induced death of cells expressing mutant PS1 was attenuated by inhibitors of calpains I and II, by an intracellular Ca(2+) chelator, by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide, and by a broad-spectrum caspase inhibitor, but not by an inhibitor of caspase-1. Agents that release Ca(2+) from the ER increased the vulnerability of cells expressing mutant PS1 to DNA damage. By promoting ER-mediated apoptotic proteolytic cascades, PS1 mutations may sensitize neurons to DNA damage.
Neurobiology of Disease 11/2002; 11(1):2-19. · 5.62 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of structurally related metalloendopeptidases so named due to their propensity to target extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Accumulating evidence, however, suggests that these proteases cleave numerous non-ECM substrates including enzymes and cell surface receptors. MMPs may also bind to cell surface receptors, though such binding has typically been thought to mediate internalization and degradation of the bound protease. More recently, it has been shown that MMP-1 coimmunoprecipitates with the alpha2beta1 integrin, a receptor for collagen. This association may serve to localize the enzymatic activity of MMP-1 so that collagen is cleaved and cell migration is facilitated. In other studies, however, it has been shown that integrin engagement may be linked to the activation of signaling cascades including those mediated by Gialpha containing heterotrimers. As an example, alpha2beta1 can form a complex with CD47 that may associate with Gialpha. In the present study we have therefore investigated the possibility that MMP-1 may affect intracellular changes that are linked to the activation of a Gi protein-coupled receptor. We show that treatment of neural cells with MMP-1 is followed by a rapid reduction in cytosolic levels of cAMP. Moreover, MMP-1 potentiates proteinase activated receptor-1 (PAR-1) agonist-linked increases in intracellular calcium, an effect which is often observed when an agonist of a Gi protein-coupled receptor is administered in association with an agonist of a Gq coupled receptor. In addition, MMP-1 stimulates pertussis toxin sensitive release ofMMP-9 both from cultured neural cells and monocyte/macrophages. Together, these results suggest that MMP-1 signals through a pertussis toxin-sensitive G protein-coupled receptor.
Journal of Neurochemistry 09/2002; 82(4):885-93. · 3.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Persephin (Pspn), a recently cloned member of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily (TGF-beta) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) subfamily, is distributed throughout the nervous system at extremely low levels and is thought to function as a survival factor for midbrain dopaminergic and spinal motor neurons in vivo. Here, we report that mice lacking Pspn by homologous recombination show normal development and behavior, but are hypersensitive to cerebral ischemia. A 300% increase in infarction volume was observed after middle cerebral artery occlusion. We find that glutamate-induced Ca(2+) influx, thought to be a major component of ischemic neuronal cell death, can be regulated directly by the Persephin protein (PSP) and that PSP can reduce hypoxia/reperfusion cell death in vitro. Neuronal cell death can be prevented or markedly attenuated by administration of recombinant human PSP in vivo before ischemia in both mouse and rat models. Taken together, these data indicate that PSP is a potent modulator of excitotoxicity in the central nervous system with pronounced neuroprotective activity. Our findings support the view that PSP signaling can exert an important control function in the context of stroke and glutamate-mediated neurotoxicity, and also suggest that future therapeutic approaches may involve this novel trophic protein.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2002; 99(14):9521-6. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent epidemiological and clinical data suggest that persons with low folic acid levels and elevated homocysteine levels are at increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but the underlying mechanism is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that impaired one-carbon metabolism resulting from folic acid deficiency and high homocysteine levels promotes accumulation of DNA damage and sensitizes neurons to amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) toxicity. Incubation of hippocampal cultures in folic acid-deficient medium or in the presence of methotrexate (an inhibitor of folic acid metabolism) or homocysteine induced cell death and rendered neurons vulnerable to death induced by Abeta. Methyl donor deficiency caused uracil misincorporation and DNA damage and greatly potentiated Abeta toxicity as the result of reduced repair of Abeta-induced oxidative modification of DNA bases. When maintained on a folic acid-deficient diet, amyloid precursor protein (APP) mutant transgenic mice, but not wild-type mice, exhibited increased cellular DNA damage and hippocampal neurodegeneration. Levels of Abeta were unchanged in the brains of folate-deficient APP mutant mice. Our data suggest that folic acid deficiency and homocysteine impair DNA repair in neurons, which sensitizes them to oxidative damage induced by Abeta.
Journal of Neuroscience 04/2002; 22(5):1752-62. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cells in the brain deploy multiple mechanisms to maintain the integrity of nerve cell circuits, and to facilitate responses to environmental demands and promote recovery of function after injury. The mechanisms include production of neurotrophic factors and cytokines, expression of various cell survival-promoting proteins (e.g. protein chaperones, antioxidant enzymes, Bcl-2 and inhibitor of apoptosis proteins), protection of the genome by telomerase and DNA repair proteins, and mobilization of neural stem cells to replace damaged neurons and glia. The aging process challenges such neuroprotective and neurorestorative mechanisms, often with devastating consequences as in Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases and stroke. Genetic and environmental factors superimposed upon the aging process can determine whether brain aging is successful or unsuccessful. Mutations in genes that cause inherited forms of AD (amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilins), Parkinson's disease (alpha-synuclein and parkin) and trinucleotide repeat disorders (e.g. huntingtin and the androgen receptor) overwhelm endogenous neuroprotective mechanisms. On the other hand, neuroprotective mechanisms can be bolstered by dietary (caloric restriction, and folate and antioxidant supplementation) and behavioral (cognitive and physical activities) modifications. At the cellular and molecular levels, successful brain aging can be facilitated by activating a hormesis response to which neurons respond by upregulating the expression of neurotrophic factors and stress proteins. Neural stem cells that reside in the adult brain are also responsive to environmental demands, and appear capable of replacing lost or dysfunctional neurons and glial cells, perhaps even in the aging brain. The recent application of modem methods of molecular and cellular biology to the problem of brain aging is revealing a remarkable capacity within brain cells for adaptation to aging and resistance to disease.
Neurobiology of Aging 01/2002; 23(5):695-705. · 6.17 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased oxyradical production and membrane lipid peroxidation occur in neurons under physiological conditions and in neurodegenerative disorders. Lipid peroxidation can alter synaptic plasticity and may increase the vulnerability of neurons to excitotoxicity, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. We report that 4-hydroxy-2,3-nonenal (4HN), an aldehyde product of lipid peroxidation, exerts a biphasic effect on NMDA-induced current in cultured rat hippocampal neurons with current being increased during the first 2 h and decreased after 6 h. Similarly, 4HN causes an early increase and a delayed decrease in NMDA-induced elevation of intracellular Ca2+ levels. In contrast, 4HN affects neither the ion current nor the Ca2+ response to -amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate (AMPA). The initial enhancement of NMDA-induced current is associated with increased phosphorylation of the NR1 receptor subunit, whereas the delayed suppression of current is associated with cellular ATP depletion and mitochondrial membrane depolarization. Cell death induced by 4HN is attenuated by an NMDA receptor antagonist, but not by an AMPA receptor antagonist. A secreted form of amyloid precursor protein, previously shown to protect neurons against oxidative and excitotoxic insults, prevented each of the effects of 4HN including the early and late changes in NMDA current, delayed ATP depletion, and cell death. These findings show that the membrane lipid peroxidation product 4HN can modulate NMDA channel activity, suggesting a role for this aldehyde in physiological and pathophysiological responses of neurons to oxidative stress.